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What are Manicure and Pedicure Games?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

Manicure and pedicure games are video or computer games designed to allow a person to play by giving a manicure or pedicure to a virtual person. These types of games can be simple web-based games using programs such as Flash, often played directly in an Internet browser, or more elaborate purchased games that are played as separate programs. Manicure and pedicure games can also be smaller parts of larger games that feature a variety of makeover games, allowing a player to focus on hair, nails, clothing and makeup, or a combination of them all.

Though typically marketed towards girls, manicure and pedicure games are often played through simple interactions and usually require only minimal eye-hand coordination, making them excellent starting games for any young child. The games are often played by using a mouse, controller, stylus, or other input device to direct a pointer to a selection of tools and options, which are then used on the nails of a digital hand or foot. These often include trimming, sanding, painting, and adding decorations to the nails. This can all usually be easily reset to allow a player to repeatedly start over and create something new.

Woman posing
Woman posing

A simple user interface (UI) is common in manicure and pedicure games and can often include only a pointer and the game layout. This may include floating hands and feet, but more often involves hands or feet that are attached to an unseen person who exists outside the direct visuals of the game. The point, after all, is not necessarily about the imaginary person, but about the process of painting nails and providing a makeover. These types of manicure and pedicure games also allow the player to use his or her imagination to make up a story about the fictional person on whom the manicure or pedicure is being performed.

Unlike other games that often feature running score totals, predesigned levels, or enemy combatants and obstacles aimed at providing a challenge for a player, manicure and pedicure games are typically more similar to virtual paper dolls and do not rely on competitiveness or end-game accomplishment. Manicure and pedicure games usually rely on a player’s sense of accomplishment and the fun of the process itself, rather than high scores through arbitrary point systems. As a result, these types of games do not usually have any sort of ending or goal, the point of the game is simply to play the game and enjoy the makeover process.

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